King Solomon boiled life down to this: “There is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.” (Ecclesiastes 2: 24)
I have just finished a two-week run of fulfilling ministry work. The Summit in Austin, Missio Conference in Philly, She Can Teach Training in South Bend followed by preaching two services the following Sunday – Mother’s day. It has been a rewarding few weeks. In those weeks I also experienced failure – twice I didn’t lead well. I’m grateful for those two experiences. They forced me to be gracious to myself, learn from my mistakes and move forward. It takes courage to pull yourself off the floor and get back into the arena called life. After preaching two services I flew home to Dallas. I was tired. Mother’s Day was coming to an end and I hadn’t expected much out of it. Work and travel.
When I got home I was met at the door by my people. Steve had filled the house with flowers (Iris’ and peonies) and our house mate Amy was in the rocking chair waiting to hear how things went in South Bend. I went into my room to put up my suitcases and there leaning against some tulips was my daughter Madison.
She surprised me. She flew in from Vermont so she could spend the next day with me. On Monday we went shopping for an outfit for my niece’s upcoming wedding. Then we headed to T.J. Seafood Market for a lingering lunch. Their lobster rolls are to die for. The waitress brought us drinks but seemed to be slow in taking our order. I found out later it was because Steve had asked her to delay. He and Madison had been waiting for Hampton to show up and surprise me too. Hampton took the greyhound from Austin but it was two hours delayed. I had no idea. I’m sitting there – starting to get irked that our waitress hasn’t taken our order – when up walks Hampton.
Crying ensued. We spent the rest of the day just eating and drinking – enjoying one another’s company. Madison flew back to Vermont early Tuesday morning and Hampton stayed another day. He and his girlfriend Taylor made us some amazing ceviche.
It’s been a few days since they all headed back to their respective homes and I’m back at work. I’m mindful this really is what the “good life” is all about: meaningful work and meaningful relationships. I’m grateful God has blessed me with both. To him be the glory.